Cup of Joe – October 29, 2022

Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was attacked at the couple’s home in San Francisco early Friday morning, CNN reports. The attack was politically motivated and an attempted assassination of the third ranking government official in the United States.

The assailant who attacked Paul Pelosi was in search for the Speaker of the House, CNN reports. The intruder confronted the Speaker’s husband in their San Francisco home shouting “where is Nancy, where is Nancy?”

A hospital source tells NBC Bay Area that Paul Pelosi is undergoing brain surgery after he was attacked with a hammer at the San Francisco home he shares with his wife, Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Wall Street Journal: “The intruder broke in through a sliding-glass door and beat Mr. Pelosi with a hammer, one of the officials said, leaving him badly injured with wounds to the head and body. The alleged assailant was arrested.”

“The suspected attacker has espoused extreme right-wing views on social media, including conspiracy theories about Covid-19, according to one of the law-enforcement officials.”

Josh Marshall: “Paul Pelosi remains hospitalized after undergoing surgery. Various press reports refer to the surgery as “brain surgery.” That may not be precisely accurate. The San Francisco Chronicle refers to the surgery as “repair[ing] a skull fracture.” I’m of course no expert on any of this. But that at least sounds like repairing the structure of the skull at a fracture point rather than addressing some sort of brain trauma or a brain bleed. It will likely take a day or more to get a precise account of the injuries. Regardless, the injuries were clearly very serious.

The alleged assailant is 42 year old David DePape, a resident of Berkeley. DePape had some distant counterculture background which the online right at first seized on. His recent social media was littered with the whole panoply of far-right conspiracy theories, QAnon memes, anti-semitic rants, Big Lie activism. The whole thing. So he’s that guy, another person radicalized by the incitement that is the mother’s milk of current Republican politics.

Various commentators have speculated about what could have happened if Nancy Pelosi had been at home. Accounts say DePape was trying to tie up Paul Pelosi and ‘wait for Nancy to come home.’ This counterfactual probably doesn’t hold up. Likely DePape would have been stopped much sooner. Press accounts suggest that when Pelosi is home there is substantial security around her home provided by her protective detail. There was much less or none when she was not. This may seem strange. But unlike with a President’s family there is not mandated protection for the family members of congressional leaders.

DePape is being charged with a long list of crimes including attempted murder.”

“The man who allegedly attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband early Friday posted memes and conspiracy theories on Facebook about Covid vaccines, the 2020 election and the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol,” CNN reports.

“Last year, David DePape posted links on his Facebook page to multiple videos produced by My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell falsely alleging that the 2020 election was stolen. Other posts included transphobic images and linked to websites claiming Covid vaccines were deadly.”

Elon Musk took control of Twitter Thursday as his $44 billion deal to takeover the company closed, the Washington Post reports. The New York Times reports Musk “has started cleaning house at Twitter with the firings of at least four top executives on Thursday.”

 “The bird is freed.”— Elon Musk. on Twitter.  A group of advertisers have said they will pause all their ads on Twitter if Donald Trump’s account is reinstated, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Charlie Warzel: “Sources described a few nightmare scenarios that could legitimately hobble Twitter, which is still used by more than 200 million people every day.”

Nilay Patel: “You fucked up real good, kiddo.”

“Twitter is a disaster clown car company that is successful despite itself, and there is no possible way to grow users and revenue without making a series of enormous compromises that will ultimately destroy your reputation and possibly cause grievous damage to your other companies.”

“I say this with utter confidence because the problems with Twitter are not engineering problems. They are political problems. Twitter, the company, makes very little interesting technology; the tech stack is not the valuable asset. The asset is the user base: hopelessly addicted politicians, reporters, celebrities, and other people who should know better but keep posting anyway. You! You, Elon Musk, are addicted to Twitter. You’re the asset. You just bought yourself for $44 billion dollars.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin told CNN in an interview that she “did not see signs of a recession in the near term as the U.S. economy rebounded from six months of contraction.”

Wall Street Journal: “When Philadelphia baseball teams do well, in a pattern that has held for a century, financial markets tend to strike out. It started with the old Philadelphia Athletics (before they left town). Their 1929 championship preceded the stock crash and Great Depression. In 1980, the Phillies won their first World Series, and a recession raged right through 1983, when the team again got to the final round and lost. The Phils won the World Series a second time in 2008, and boom: a home-run financial crisis.”

“Now, the scrappy Phils will be back on the big stage against the favored Houston Astros, and it is as if this struggling economy already knew it was going to be in trouble.”

“A measure of inflation that is closely monitored by the Federal Reserve remained painfully high last month, the latest sign that prices for most goods and services in the United States are still rising steadily,” the AP reports.

CNBC: “The report comes as the Fed is prepared to enact its sixth interest rate increase of the year at its policy meeting next week. In an effort to combat inflation running at its fastest pace in nearly 40 years, the Fed has been raising rates, with increases totaling 3 percentage points thus far.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin denied that he would conduct a nuclear strike in Ukraine, saying Thursday that “it doesn’t make sense for us to do it,” Axios reports.

In spite of the veiled threats the Kremlin’s made about potential nuclear strikes in its Ukraine invasion, Putin said during a conference in Moscow on Thursday that there’s “no point” politically nor militarily in using nuclear weapons. 

But Putin also warned that the world is facing “the most dangerous” decade since the end of World War II.

And Putin kept pushing his baseless claim that Ukraine was plotting a false flag operation to blow up a radioactive “dirty bomb” on its own soil and blame it on Russia. 

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) sent a letter to the Ukrainian and Russian embassies in D.C. on Wednesday inviting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian leader Vladimir Putin to Phoenix, Arizona to “​​engage in peace talks.”

The Arizona Republican demanded “administrative and other support” from the U.N. to help him with his diplomat cosplay.

Gosar also called himself a “non-combatant peace activist” in the letter. Last year, he posted an animated video of himself killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

“Cannabis advocates are calling for a ‘smoke out’ Thursday outside the Russian embassy in Northwest Washington, where protesters plan to smoke marijuana and demand the release of U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner, who has been imprisoned in Russia since February,” the Washington Post reports.

“A senior Russian foreign ministry official said that commercial satellites from the United States and its allies could become legitimate targets for Russia if they were involved in the war in Ukraine,” Reuters reports.

The Economist: “Such are the questions that weigh heavily these days on the minds of the Russian elite, its bureaucrats and businessmen, as they observe the Ukrainian army advancing, talented people fleeing Russia and the West refusing to back down in the face of Vladimir Putin’s energy and nuclear blackmail.”

Said one member of the elite: “There is a lot of swearing and angry talk in Moscow restaurants and kitchens. Everyone has realised that Putin has blundered and is losing.”

“This does not mean that Mr Putin is about to bow out, be overthrown or fire a nuclear weapon. It does mean that those who run the country and own assets there are losing confidence in their president. Russia’s political system appears to be entering the most turbulent period of its post-Soviet history. Western governments, too, are starting to worry that Russia could become ungovernable.”

“Georgia prosecutors told the Supreme Court on Thursday that shielding Sen. Lindsey Graham from testifying before a grand jury looking into possible attempts by President Donald Trump and his allies to disrupt the state’s 2020 presidential election could seriously disrupt the investigation,” the Washington Post reports.

If Graham is allowed to avoid testimony entirely, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis wrote, the grand jury “will be foreclosed indefinitely from pursuing unique information, analyzing any resulting evidence, or using the Senator’s testimony to explore additional routes of valid inquiry.”

“The House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol is wrapping up its review of more than a million pages of Secret Service documents and plans to bring in top agents and officials from the agency to testify in the coming weeks,” CNN reports.

“The widening list, which sources say includes about a half dozen witnesses, indicates the committee is still pursuing answers from the agency on a number of fronts, including what it knew about threats ahead of the attack, what former President Donald Trump knew about armed protestors heading to the Capitol, and how it responded to testimony about Trump’s altercation with his security detail that day.”

“A climate protester glued his head to ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring,’ the famous painting by Johannes Vermeer that was on exhibit at a museum in The Hague on Thursday, the latest in a series of actions by activists that have targeted world-renowned paintings in recent months as the protesters have sought to draw attention to climate change,” the New York Times reports.

“The stunts have recently included hurling mashed potatoes at a painting by Claude Monet and splattering soup on a painting by Vincent van Gogh.”

“Donald Trump’s legal defense team and prosecutors handling the Mar-a-Lago documents investigation met at the federal courthouse in Washington, DC, Thursday morning in a secret dispute related to the unprecedented investigation,” CNN reports.

“Their appearance in Washington is notable because this legal team typically appears in court in Florida or New York on the documents investigation.”

“Pennsylvania Republicans announced Wednesday plans to impeach and potentially remove from office Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, a national leader among progressive prosecutors who was overwhelmingly re-elected last year,” NBC News reports.

“Krasner is not accused of committing a crime. Nor do his critics allege corruption. Instead, they accuse him of dereliction of duty for what they say is a failure to adequately enforce criminal laws, leading to rising crime rates and declining quality of life for Philadelphians.”

“Three men have been found guilty by a Jackson County jury of materially aiding a terrorist and being a member of a gang as part of a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer,” the Detroit News reports.

Washington Post: “The three men — Joseph Morrison, Paul Bellar and Pete Musico — were found guilty in state court of providing material support for terrorist acts, possessing a firearm while committing a felony and being members of a gang. They face up to 20 years in prison.”

“A Tennessee man was sentenced on Thursday to seven and a half years in prison for dragging a police officer protecting the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, into an angry pro-Trump crowd that brutally assaulted the officer,” the New York Times reports.

“The sentence was one of the most severe penalties handed down so far in the Justice Department’s investigation of the Capitol attack.”

Washington Post: “Leading the push in Nevada is Jim Marchant, the GOP nominee for secretary of state — a position with authority over the battleground state’s elections. If Marchant is elected — a strong possibility in Nevada, where races for governor, attorney general, U.S. Senate and secretary of state are all neck and neck, according to polls and campaign operatives from both parties — he would wield broad power to implement his agenda across the state.”

“In addition to championing hand counts, Marchant has promised if elected to “decertify” the 2020 Nevada result because he believes Trump won. Marchant could also attempt to thwart certification of the popular vote in the 2024 presidential race — something he has said he would have done had he been in office in 2020. And he plans to spread his gospel across the nation.”

“At a speech last week before prospective GOP poll workers and challengers in New Mexico, former Trump attorney John Eastman urged his allies to file complaints that could form the basis for court challenges to the upcoming midterm and presidential elections,” Politico reports.

“The comments, outlined in a new audio recording… suggest that Eastman and some other conservative activists see aggressive challenges to the legitimacy of individual votes as part of a larger strategy to build evidence that can be used to invalidate a county or state election.”

“As one of Brazil’s most bitterly fought election campaigns draws to a close, far-right president Jair Bolsonaro and his challenger, veteran leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, agree on one thing: the future of one of the world’s largest democracies is at stake,” the Financial Times reports.

“Lula, who was president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010, leads a broad coalition of the centre and left that has united behind the idea that a second term for Bolsonaro would do irreversible damage to the country’s institutions and spur a slide towards strongman rule. For Bolsonaro and his conservative supporters in agribusiness, the evangelical churches and the army and police, a Lula victory would set Brazil on the path towards the style of socialism in Cuba or Venezuela and erode traditional values.”

“The result of Sunday’s vote hangs on a knife’s edge after a campaign marred by mudslinging and political violence. Polls suggest Lula has a narrow lead, but such surveys had underestimated Bolsonaro’s support in a first-round vote earlier this month.”

“House Republicans on the chief tax-writing Ways and Means Committee are seeking to make the tax cuts and adjustments enacted in the 2017 overhaul of the tax system permanent, a move economists say would stimulate the economy at the same time the Federal Reserve is trying to rein in demand against 40-year-high inflation,” The Hill reports.

William Saletan: “The most interesting political race of 2022 isn’t between a Democrat and a Republican. It’s in Utah, where incumbent Republican Sen. Mike Lee faces independent challenger Evan McMullin. McMullin, a nearly lifelong Republican, is conservative on most issues, so Lee can’t beat him with the usual playbook—calling him woke or a tax-and-spender or a socialist. By neutralizing the GOP’s favorite lines of attack, McMullin has reduced the race to one crucial difference between the candidates: Lee’s complicity in Donald Trump’s schemes to undo the 2020 election.”

“The Lee-McMullin race poses a difficult question: What exactly does the GOP stand for? Why should voters support a Republican senator against an opponent who agrees with him on policy but not on subverting democracy? If economic, moral, and foreign-policy conservatism no longer define the party, what does? What does it mean to be a Republican in 2022, beyond conspiring—or defending others who have conspired—to overturn elections when your party doesn’t win?”

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel mocked the speaking abilities of John Fetterman, the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate who is recovering from a stroke, and President Biden, who grew up with a stutter, the Washington Post reports.

Said McDaniel: “I think all the candidates got together and said, ‘Which one of us has to campaign with Biden?’ Fetterman drew the short straw.”

She added: “So Biden said, ‘Between the two of us, we may be able to finish a full sentence.’”

After being fired by CBS News, Fox News and even Newsmax, Lara Logan appeared on Mike Lindell TV to accuse the Biden administration is trafficking children so we can drink their blood to look younger.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) “has millions at his disposal, yet his campaign has not returned $213,000 in contributions from a fugitive charged with making illegal straw donations,” the Miami Herald reports.

The New York Police Department has called for “elevated vigilance” ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, warning that extremists could target political events and polling sites, Reuters reports.

A new PRRI poll finds that 31% of Americans believe that “God intended America to be a new promised land where European Christians could create a society that could be an example to the rest of the world.”

Barack Obama is part of a group of investors looking to buy the Phoenix Suns basketball team, according to the Bleacher Report.

“The New York state Supreme Court has reinstated all employees who were fired for not being vaccinated, ordering back pay and saying their rights had been violated,” Fox News reports.

A Florida lawyer who fought against state laws requiring motorcycle riders to wear helmets was killed in a motorcycle crash while not wearing a helmet, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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